tv [untitled] August 22, 2010 8:30pm-9:00pm PST
addressed, due to the significant distance between the properties. we are not talking about one property hugging the next property. commissioner hwang: what is the distance? do you know? >> is it 80 feet? it is a significant distance between the two properties. we live in a city. it is acceptable. commissioner hwang: as part of your review, it did the department look at the adjacent properties? the slope obviously is not just a unique to the subject properties, right? that slope and the types of potential privacy considerations -- the subject property adjacent to other properties on the same block?
quickly found a complaint with the residential site guidelines, which is our guidelines for dealing with all the privacy and nuisance issues. we looked at the guidelines and found the design applies with that -- complies with that. privacy is met. we agree with that decision. vice president goh: you said if they are not listed the pecan tree, a street tree, or a landmark tree, that you did not need a permit? >> that is not a planning issue. i do not know if you need a permit to cut down a tree in your rear yard. that would be nothing the planning a program would be involved with. vice president goh: -- nothing the planning department would be involved with. vice president goh: thank you. president peterson: is there any public comment on this item? please step forward.
>> good evening, commissioners. my name is peter roth well. i am one of the neighbors. i live next door to their current residents, four doors away from the proposed house. i am just here to support their bid to build the house they have been planning for many years. i think they are well within their rights, and the conditions in this situation are no different than many conditions in the city where you have neighbors close by. in fact, the neighborhood has very deep lots. i think the privacy issues are being overblown here. i just want to put my 2 cents in and support the project. president peterson: thank you. is there any other public comment? seeing none, we will move to the rebuttal phase. do you care to use it?
>> michael levinson. i will probably use less than a minute. i want to show you the project was completed by the architect. in the upper floor changes the type of the building. at that point, it was a beautiful building in our neighborhood. then they declined our right to accept this project and returned to the original one. i hope the commissioners will look at this project, at the architectural redundancy of the project.
by the way, the privacy issue -- they are building the house 5 feet from the property line. my house is sitting basically on the property line. the privacy issue is distance. vice president goh: i have a question, if you would not mind putting those drawings into the record. i am not clear how moving this forward, moving the top floor forward, helps you. could you explain that? >> yes. it is moved toward miralamoarom my building, which is located here, this window at least will be facing my building and not
facing my backyard, which is in this area. it will make a really big difference. vice president goh: moving in backward? >> moving in that direction. the current project, this part is moved away from miraloma drive. vice president goh: i see. you're showing us a picture of what you want to see. >> that picture was produced by the architect and it asked us to accept this project. but suddenly it is moved back to the original one that we did not like in the beginning. the windows i am showing here are almost facing their bedroom windows. if you move than 3 yards, they
will not be facing the bedroom window. vice president goh: thank you. so you are saying that during preliminary discussions -- commissioner hwang: so you're saying that during preliminary discussions you discussed your desire to have them move the top floor toward miraloma. at one point it agreed to it? >> exactly. that was produced by the -- commissioner hwang: they agreed to that and then rescinded its somehow? do you know why they changed their mind? >> no. there was no explanation. the architect told us our neighbor decided not to go with that project, suddenly. i think it was a very hostile action on our neighbor's part. we want them to build as soon as
possible. the empty lot is not adding anything. it is a beautiful building. commissioner hwang: thank you. commissioner fung: i have a question. in your brief, you have indicated several times that these trees at the property line are co-owned. what do you mean by that? >> we had the property lines surveyed. this was provided by the survey. this tree is -- i own 42% of one of the trees. there is another small tree where i on top%. the property line goes like this. -- i own 12%. commissioner fung: who planted
these trees? >> i do not know, but history was there when i bought the property. commissioner fung: your percentage ownership is based upon that% of the canopy extending over the property line? >> the% is based on the roots. commissioner fung: what about the truck? "property line goes through the middle of the trunk. commissio and i only have two issues, and they have 16. it was smaller, a little bit. it was to reduce it. then, i said you could move it. commissioner fung: thank you.
you have answered my question. sir, thank you. president peterson: thank you. mr. silverman, you have three minutes for a bottle. >> very briefly, in response to mr. levenson, he stated that there is 5 feet between the property. -- mr. levinson. they have huge front yards in huge back yards. secondly, on the issue of moving this towards mari loma, it is violative of several policies,
but the communication between the parties were in the context of settling their d.r. in other words, they came to my client and said, "we want you to move this this much forward." he said, "we can do it this much." they said, "no, we want it another 10 ft. or 12 feet." no agreement was reached in settling the d.r., and the offer was withdrawn. it was made in the context of a settlement. commissioner garcia: who owns that tree? >> i have no idea. commissioner fung: mr. silverman, where all of the compromises that were offered
pre-d.r. -- >> absolutely. the d.r. went forward. the idea was to avoid the hearing. yes, yes, sir. commissioner hwang: i have another question. the kinds of modifications they were asking for, including after the tree was chopped down, are not being considered, and would you say that it sounds like they are not in any mood to attempt to come to any kind of a compromise? the question i have is if if any modifications did your client made in response? >> yes, we will be glad to go over that. she will tell you about those changes.
i believe there in your packet. >> i am the project designer. i will just read from my brief of all the changes i made since september. we reduced the height of the building. we reduced an element that was originally there. commissioner hwang: before you go for it -- through the list, this was all part of your outreach? >> yes, a compromise so we could move this project forward. everything my client agreed to, i did. we kept making compromises even after we were unanimously approved by the planning committee. we were still making compromises. i moved a bay that faces the levinsons. i removed the transom windows on
the north and south side. i reduced the windows in height and width on the top floor and 1 foot in with on the middle floor. you know, the height, i did not stop. my client is going to be living there. i know this is not a spec house, so my intention has always been to compromise as much as possible. commissioner hwang: what about the tree? >> i went to a lot of trouble to measure mr. zheng's house.
commissioner hwang: you are 10 feet short of what the neighbor wants. >> after my last meeting with him, he was on his way to his attorney to draw up some kind of a deed restriction, because he was worried that my clients, because they are elderly, they are going to pass away soon, and he was worried that some of the heirs or someone would cut down the tree again. our clients want the trees. they are not interested in looking down into his house. if you look at the site study, they are not going to be able to see in the first two floors. on the top floor, there are only two bedrooms. it is not a place where people congregate. commissioner hwang: is this tree issue not another area of
potential compromise? >> we are planting the trees. commissioner hwang: so the answer is no? >> we never stopped compromising. commissioner fung: 20 say that it was that these trees were 15 feet, -- let me say that. your documentation is that these trees will eventually grow to 25 feet. commissioner hwang: well, i do not know. commissioner fung: what is the ultimate height of these trees? >> 25 feet. commissioner hwang: thank you. vice president goh: i have another question. how the buildings line up now.
we have heard that there are 5 feet apart, and then we have heard that they are over 20 feet apart. >> both things are correct. they are 5 feet from the property line. this is the levinsons' the garage, and this does is 5 feet off of the property line. on this side, there is one very, very small window.
that is that small window. commissioner hwang: could you go back? >> that is the small window that faces my client's property. that is their concern. they want us to eliminate the only window we have in the kitchen, the only window we have in the storage room, and much of the master bedroom window. this is the levinson'ss' house, and they have 20 windows. they have a double lot. their lot is 60 feet wide. they have a very large view.
that view is only going to change slightly after this g aehwiler house. this is a picture of the view from the levinsons' house with the empty lot on mira loma drive. this would still be their view. commissioner hwang: is that including the view from that little window? >> no, that little window looks out over this direction. but i have to say, that little window is part of a big room that has a big picture windows, so it is not going to do that.
vice president goh: is this something to be considered? >> we already took 1 foot out of it in height. >> -- vice president goh: thank you. president peterson: mr. sanchez, do you have anything to add? so the matter is submitted. vice president goh: the window. >> the house did not exist. this is my window. this is my bedroom. this is a small window and i was
talking about the windows in my bedroom. this is privacy. this is how the house would look. this is the house that does not exist yet. from this window, use seat where you can see the bedroom window. vice president goh: thank you. >> thank you. vice president goh: oh, dr. levinson, when was your house built? >> in 1926. vice president goh: thank you.
i will start, but i have not landed anyplace. ibm and pressed by the new permit holder's long list of concessions and changes they have made to the building. and yet, dr. levinson's building, it is clear it will be affected by having tall buildings next to it, and his buildings is one of those shallow but very wide 1920's and very precious to many of us historic structures, so i hate to see a compromise by new construction.
on the other hand, they have done a lot to accommodate the neighbors. i am very troubled by the trees, although i do not know what jurisdiction we have. like i said, i have not landed anywhere. these are my preliminary thoughts. i will hear from my fellow commissioners. commissioner fung: there are several issues here. the one issue related to the trees, given the age of when it was built, i do not think this is something -- it becomes more of a civil issue between the property owners.
this particular species that they are intending to plant at the property line should attain the height that she mentioned, but it will take a little while. no matter how fast growing it is, it will take a little while. the real question is that here was an empty lot, and people got used to it, and whether it is an issue, it is also an issue that one gets used to in an area. therefore, it is hard to accept. i feel that there is some level of compromise. i feel that the neighbors should have taken it out of the yard.
for our experience and history, what was offered was quite substantial. they chose not to take it, and i understand. i understand the permit holder's desire not to put that on the table. i find that the particular building and its siting are consistent for a new structure given the site area and the neighborhood. it was designed with some sort of sensitivity towards the neighbors. it is and what i call sensitive. it may not be totally acceptable to the neighbors, but as a professional and seeing the types of cases that we have
seen, i find it to be somewhat sensitive, and therefore, i would support the denial of the appeal. president peterson: i will go next. i understand that change is difficult, and yet, these are some of the biggest blocks. i live in a 1920's home and so does my neighbor. this is 21st century living. i think curtains can easily solve the problem here, so i would be inclined to agree with commissioner fung's statement. commissioner hwang: i think many
of the concessions that were made it sounds like were in good faith, and i will not repeat many of the comments previously made by my fellow commissioners, and i will also be inclined to uphold the permit and deny the appeal. commissioner garcia: i would agree with those who want to deny the appeal and uphold the permit. the two people who watched these proceedings who live and other parts of the city and with what goes on in san francisco will be amazed that someone is talking about their privacy in their backyard being compromised " by windows 80 feet away from there's -- compromised by windows 80 feet away from theirs.
it is consistent. it was brought before the commission for discretionary review. discretionary review was not taken. i think this is a very nice project, and i think several commissioners have addressed what for me was the principal issue in this whole time, and that is the fact that you get used to what you have. a vacant lot there, and all of these people better going to be affected by this project got used to it. i think they have lost sight of the fact that vacant lots belong to someone, and they have their rights, also. at any rate, having heard from the other commissioners, i would move that we deny the appeal and uphold the project. >> it complies with code and the residential design guidelines.
to alter a building. jurisdiction was granted june 9 of this year. president peterson: we will start with you, the appellant. >> the landlady did not turn in her statement on time, and at the jurisdiction meeting, she did not turn your statement in on time. if you remember, she also kept us waiting 1.5 hours because her architect did not show up on time, so i am not sure what i need to be saying here beyond what i wrote before the first board, the jurisdiction board, and now you. i realize it's some of this sounds a bit fantastical answer korea, but that is my life -- i realize that some of the sounds a bit fantastic"